Friday, April 30, 2021


I am so glad it is Friday! I have a quilting friend coming tomorrow - unless she changes her mind. We both have been vaccinated and have been staying safe so we will be good. I will set up a sewing table for her and we will be more than 6' apart. I did get more 2 1/2" strips cut of off white to pair with the neutral prints. I found a couple larger pieces in the white/off white pile in the fabric storage room. The backing fabric has not arrived yet for the t-shirt quilt so I will probably work on making 16 patch blocks on Saturday as we visit.
I did take a stroll thru the yard after work and was happy to see the marigold and zinna seeds both coming up despite the way the temperatures have been varying. Marigolds
I have some Narcissus blooming too.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, April 29, 2021

Hitting the scrap pile and sampler progress

I finally had the opportunity to used some of the pieces I had cut from my scrap bins last winter. I pulled out the 2 1/2" solid strips stack. I am pairing up an off white solid with the prints for the neutral baby quilts.
I sorted out the off whites from the whites and got to sewing. Here is what I have sewn so far. I am going to have to cut more 2 1/2" strips from yardage.
I continue to work on the sampler before work and at lunchtime. Here is where I ended yesterday morning and where I am at now.  I  had run out of the brown floss I was using as I stitched that row between the large alphabet and the numbers.   I was not about to go to the store for one skein of floss.  After looking in my floss case and then in the floss bag where I have all the colors for the Xmas stocking, I found a color that was close.  I can't even tell that I used two different browns.  

Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Strips cut, flatbread, sampler progress

I had another busy evening. The strips are all cut. There might be enough to make blocks for two more baby quilts. The forecast is calling for rain this afternoon so that means I will be sewing strips together instead of mowing the grass.
I plan on making them similar to this one.
Made some flat bread.
and got a bit more done on the sampler. Here is where I was yesterday and where I am now
I didn't have time to try out the chainsaw, but the fellow that fixed it did cut some wood with it and said it worked great. I had ruined the blade when I chopped thru the ornamental grass. The blades can be sharpened, but mine was too far gone.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Piecing project, sampler progress, and chain saw

I need to get back to sewing and piecing. I have some 2 1/2" strips cut for another 16 patch neutral baby quilt. I found some wide strips of beiges and grays, and a little bit of yardage that I need to cut into strips. That will be on the agenda tonight after work.
I got more done on the sampler. Here is where I was yesterday and where I am now
I have been trying to figure out when I stopped cross stitching. As best I can figure it was in 1993. I have this piece that I had finished and dated it 1993. When I stopped I had left three UFOs.  I finished two of the three UFOs recently- the tree with bluebirds and the Ohio sampler.  I still need to finish the Christmas stocking.   The zebra sampler was a new start.  I no longer have the chart for this one so no details.  The fabric is a linen and I stitched it with DMC.  
I am so happy today! My friend at work, her husband was able to replace the blade in my little electric chain saw so I am back in business! I had ruined the blade when I used it to cut thru those ornamental grasses. Lesson learned! I can't wait to go home tonight and cut something!

Monday, April 26, 2021

Quilt top done, sampler and Lenten Rose progess

Yeah! The t-shirt top is done! I am happy with how it turned out. It's 96" long but I forgot to measure the width. I will get the batting cut tonight so I will be ready once the backing arrives.
Between laundry, dishes, and working in the Lenten Rose bed, I stitched on the sampler. Here is where I had left off and where I am now
I chart one row at a time and adjust the spacing to fit the width. For the row I am on now, I counted the spaces left at the end of the row and counted the number of letters that are in this row. I will add one more space between each letter and that will fix the spacing of the row.
Here is a picture of the sampler that I am stitching.
The Lenten Rose bed is a lot harder job than I thought it would be or maybe I just forgot how hard it was to dig out a plant that has been growing for at least 10 years! LOL!!!  It has been physically demanding. I worked a few hours in the bed on Friday and Saturday. The old and dead leaves were trimmed back, the weeds were pulled, and lily of the valley dug out as much as possible. I dug out young plants as I found them and transplanted them to the other bed. I dug out one big plant to move and it gave me a battle. Eventually I got it dug up and moved. I also split a chunk off one of the big plants and transplanted it in the front left corner. A couple loads of sweet peat were spread on the left side. I will continue work on this bed to try and fill in the spaces by splitting plants and get the bed covered with sweet peat. Here is where the bed was at the beginning and where I am now.

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Quilt backing ordered, the sampler, and another dusting

I got together yesterday with the lady that has commissioned the t-shirt quilt to pick out a backing fabric. She decided on this cute light gray fabric. I think it will look great on the back. It has been ordered and will probably arrive late next week so there was no big rush to get the top finished last night. I will get it done over my long three day weekend. Yes, I am taking a vacation day tomorrow.
I ran a couple of errands after work, threw the chicken and broth back on the stove to heat the chicken up so I could shred it, and worked on the sampler. I cross stitched a lot in the late 80's and early 90's, but just stopped. I am really enjoying it and I am finding it very additive! Here is where I left off yesterday and where I am now. (I do this so you don't have to go back and look at yesterday's post to see how far I had gotten. This is a full service blog! LOL!!)
We got a dusting last night of more snow; I think this is the end of it until next winter. The high is predicted to be 46 today and 61 tomorrow. I just hope the freezing temps over the last two days didn't do any damage.
For my big three day weekend I plan on sewing together the t-shirt quilt top and get it trimmed so it will be ready when the backing arrives, work in the Lenten Rose bed, get the sweet peat pile moved to the backyard for storage, work on the sampler, and maybe get some quilting done on the black and white quilt. Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

T-shirt quilt progress, some yardwork, the sampler and SNOW!

After work I threw a chicken in a big pot to cook for soup, I got busy. My accomplishments for yesterday included getting the left hand row and the center row almost sewn together on the t-shirt quilt. After I hung the center row back up on the design wall I realized it was a bit short. I will add that striped piece of fabric to the pink shirt then sew the left and center row together. Ann, this quilt doesn't seem as structured, but there is a lot of fussy work with making sure the designs line up north to south and that everything stays nice and flat. I put a new blade in my rotary cutter so when I layer the pieces to cut and add an improv insert piece, slicing thru both layers at a time is easy. Robbie, I like your analogy of it is like being pregnant! The quilt seems to take a life of it's own and can throw a curve ball at me anytime! I try to look ahead, but things pop up that I didn't anticipate.
Even though it was in the 40's when I got home from work, I wanted to get started on cleaning up the Lenten Rose bed. I hadn't done anything with this bed ever since I started it years ago except for digging out a few plants to move to the new shade garden and to give a large plant to my brother to put in the yard of a house he was remodeling. Here is the before and current.
Doesn't look a whole lot different, but I only got the area on the left third done. I trimmed off the old leaves and pulled out lots of leaves. I had quite a large pile of debris!
I found some starts which I dug up and transplanted in the shade bed. They will have a chance to thrive here easier. After I get the rest of the bed cleaned up I plan on moving the plants around to fill in that corner on the left.
I made some nice progress on the sampler border. Here is where I was Monday and where I am now.  It is a simply, but pretty border.
Donnie, you are a no reply blogger so I will answer your question here. The difference, to me, between cashel linen and Irish linen is that the cashel threads are thicker and more consistent in size. The thread in the Irish linen vary in thickness and the weave is more open. Here is a picture of both. The Irish linen is the first picture. I laid it over a darker fabric so you can see how the weave is more open. Thanks for your question!
This morning I woke up to snow! Not just a little bit, but 3 - 4" had fallen! It had quit snowing at my house, but it is still coming down 15 miles away at work. It is quite pretty, but the trees are struggling not to break under the weight. Their budding leaves catches more snow.  It is not going to get that warm today so I would guess that it will not be disappearing until tomorrow afternoon once it starts to warm up.  

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

The quilt, the yard, a sampler

I only was able to have enough time to layout the filler pieces for the upper right section of the t-shirt quilt.
I spent the majority of my evening mowing and trimming. I got the front all done and the trimming done all the way around the house. Before I mow in the back I needed to rake up sticks. There were about a million of them! My neighbor's trees are so kind to send so many into my yard. LOL!!! I raked for 45 minutes and have about another half hour of raking before I can mow the one side and back. The weather is forecasted to be rainy and snow for Wednesday - about 2" - so I was glad to at least get mowed what I could. I spread fertilizer/weed killer the other day, so the moisture will help get it working.
I found a few minutes to get started on another sampler. This is another one that I do not have a chart for. I just saw it when I was searching for Irish samplers. If I am going to spend the time stitching, I want to stitch unique pieces. I have a few other pieces that I am charting out as I find bits and pieces to round out the designs. For this one, I charted out the border so I could get an idea of the number of stitches and I can use the center area of the chart to roughly layout the lettering to make sure it fits before I stitch. This is more than I did for the zebra sampler which I did not chart out anything. I am using cashel linen 28 count, but I don't remember the color. This is my first time using this linen and I am not sure if I like it or not yet. I usually stitch on Irish linen.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Progress all around!

It was a good weekend. I managed to make good progess on the t-shirt quilt. It's a lot of messing about, but I only have one more section to sew together. I got the left hand side sewn together.
and the lower right hand side is sewn together. The gray long strip above this section is just pinned to the design wall. It will not be sewn on until I get the upper right hand corner sewn. I am taking my time and making sure everything is laying nice and flat.  There are three sweatshirt pieces in this quilt too.  They are kind of heavy, but I have been seaming the heck out of the seams so they don't leave a lump at the seam area.  
I did do some yardwork. I finished up the shade flower bed. I had the far end to finish.
All done! It took 19 wheelbarrow loads of sweet peat to dress this entire bed. I ended up using some chunks of concrete to edge the far end along with a few rocks I pilfered from other areas of the yard.  That is some ornamental grass chunks I saved.  I had just stuck them in this bed in case I needed them.  This bed is where I will grow my zucchini, but there is a lot space that is going to need some plants!  
I decided to clean up under the pine trees too. I had put weed cloth and mulch on them years ago, but it was all overgrown. I pulled out the worst of the weeds, put a double layer of weed cloth down, then topped with sweet peat. I have one more planting bed to redo and then everything will be in good shape. Since the weather is going to be on the cool side for the next week I need to get it done. The good part is that it is located on the NE side of the house so it is in the shade in the late afternoon.
I have a new cross stitch project, but I found the vinyl project pouch I had made.  The bag I had used for the zebra piece was not big enough for the chart I was making so Sunday I made two more bags - one for the chart and fabric, and the other for the floss, scissors, and needles. The big one is 12x14 and the smaller one is 7x10
Here you can see the difference in size from the old one 
I have made progress on the 2010 quilt since the last time I posted a picture of it. I have been working on the top gold section. I only have two more rows of stitching and this section will be done.  Here is the before and after/current